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Case Studies

Aerospace Industry: MBSE in Telescope Modeling

MBSE Solution for ESO and INCOSE

Product Details

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• E-ELT will gather 100,000,000 times more light than the human eye, 8,000,000 times more than Galileo's telescope, and 26 times more than a single VLT Unit Telescope and 15 times more light any other telescope today. In fact, E-ELT will gather more light than all of the existing 8–10-metre class telescopes on the planet, combined.

  • Project budget: €1,055M
  • Main mirror: 40m diameter
  • Telescope style: Reflector
  • Height: 80m
  • Footprint: 100m
  • Collecting area: 978 m2
  • E-ELT will be located in Cerro Armazones, Chile

About European Extremely Large Telescope

The most ambitious project of the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) is the construction of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) which will be by far the world's largest optical and near-infrared telescope, and will provide images 15 times sharper than those from the Hubble Space Telescope. Such a project poses continuous challenges to systems engineering due to its complexity in terms of requirements, operational modes, long operational lifetime, interfaces, and number of components. Since 2008, the Telescope Control System (TCS) team has adopted a number of Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) practices in order to cope with the various challenges ahead.

The E-ELT Control System design used the No Magic, Inc. products, MagicDraw + SysML plugin, Cameo Systems Modeler, and Cameo Simulation Toolkit for the MBSE solution.


In order to manage growth, complexity, and demand for resources of mission critical systems, LMCO has transitioned to using MBSE large scale. The transition was very successful; but it also required adopting best practices along the way. MagicDraw provides real–life project capabilities (i.e. Smart packages) out of the box, which will provide further productivity and quality gains supporting configuration management approach.

To handle the task of dozens of product configurations managed in parallel, with many of those baselines being updated several times a year, LMCO developed a new SysML modeling technique.

It extends the concepts of libraries with SysML Catalogs to bound the complexity of the configuration task, improving the quality and efficiency of the systems engineering process. Catalogs frame alternative views of the model for the engineer. Usage of catalogs gives ability to utilize the catalog as an active filter of the model:

  • Reduces the scope of the library without duplicating the elements.
  • Provides utilization assessments for elements across multiple baselines and baseline configurations.


  • Apply SysML/MBSE for the Telescope Control System (TCS)
  • Multitude of interacting control loops
  • Manage complexity:
    • The TCS includes all hardware, software and communication infrastructure required to control the system
    • 10,000 tons of steel and glass
    • 20,000 actuators, 1,000 mirrors
    • 60,000 I/O points, 700Gflops/s, 17Gbyte/s
  • Reuse of blocks
  • Integration of heterogeneous distributed components


  • MBSE and SysML used to model the TCS to control many different opto-mechanical parts and devices
  • Create modeling guidelines and conversions for all system aspects, hierarchy levels, and views


  • Model guidelines and best practices: requirements definition, model-based documentation generation, variants modelling, ontology for state analysis, and more
  • Model library and SE profile
  • Plugin for MagicDraw tool
  • Input for No Magic and SysML RTF
  • Cookbook for MBSE with SysML
  • INCOSE Award for Achieving the Systems Engineering Vision 2020 for exceptional work and dedication in establishing and managing the Telescope Modeling Challenge Team in support of the INCOSE mission.